Tuesday, September 9, 2014

When Brownie Died

He was only a dog-and not a pedigreed dog, at that. Reckoned in dollars and cents, the loss occasioned by his death was inconsiderable. But he was a friendly dog, on speaking and romping terms with every child in the neighborhood, and to the tender heart of childhood his death was something akin to a calamity. At noon one day he darted in front of my car and both wheels passed over his body.

His front legs were broken, but by using his hind legs and his nose, he half dragged, half jerked his shattered frame to the parking, where he stretched out to die. School had just dismissed, and in a very short time a solemn circle of children formed about him. I shall never forget the picture; the noon-day sun shining down upon a mangled dog; the circle of sorrowing children who had romped with him but a few hours before, and who loved him as only children can love a canine friend; one of the little lads with his hat removed-an unconscious recognition of the presence of death; quivering lips and moistened eyes all about; truly, a tragedy of childhood.
 He was only a dog-but he loved the children, and his last act was to raise his head, gaze at the circle of pitying eyes, wag his tail as a token of friendship-and then the light went out. He was only a dog-but the grief of that group of children was inexpressible, and, though it was no fault of mine, I felt strangely like a criminal who had robbed childhood of one of its dearest possessions. Through her tears, my dark.eyed girl asked me to write something about "Brownie." It was my car that killed him. It shall be my pen to sing his requiem.

 No dog was he of pedigree-but when his mangled frame lay stretched beneath the noonday sun, the little children came And formed a silent circle 'round the spot where "Brownie's" breath was coming in convulsive gasps-the agony of death. And when the end approached, he raised his head from off the ground And turned a loving eye upon his playmates gathered 'round, And bade them all a mute farewell, and bravely, feebly tried to wag his friendly tail-and it was thus that "Brownie" died.

 No dog was he of pedigree-but when he lifeless lay, the silent band of children there dispersed and walked away. With bitter tears and heaving sobs, and sad, dejected air, and the glory of the noonday sun seemed clouded everywhere. And when the word went swiftly forth that "Brownie" met his end.

From blocks around the kiddies came to see their faithful friend, and gazed awhile in silent awe, and mutely turned aside to hide the covert tears that flowed the day that "Brownie" died. No dog was he of pedigree-but figures of the mart can not compute or value the affections of the heart; And some will say there's one dog less to clutter up the street, and just a dollar lopped from off the next year's tax receipt; but the loss to happy childhood, in whose heart he was enshrined ... is something that can never be computed or defined, and the measure of their grief was such that furtively, a tear that welled up from my heart the day that "Brownie" died.

No dog was he of pedigree-and theologians say the soul of him will not survive to greet the Judgment Day; But little children loved him, and his mission here on earth was to make the children happy-and he thereby proved his worth. And despite my churchly teachings, something whispers , that if children go to heaven, faithful dogs will go there too, and abiding love assures me that a soul all true and tried went to romp with heaven's children on the day that "Brownie" died!

-Phil Carspecken

No comments:

Post a Comment